• DOTC rushes to improve MRT-3

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    Awards 3 maintenance contracts to private firms

    WITH just six months left to prove that the Department of Transportation and Communications under the Aquino administration is capable of upgrading the ailing Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3), the transportation agency is now in a rush to make the necessary improvements to Metro Manila’s most disreputable rail line.

    Shortly after the arrival of the second of 48 light rail vehicles (LRVs), the DOTC on Tuesday announced that it had awarded three maintenance and upgrade contracts for the MRT-3 to private partners.

    The DOTC said it awarded a P2.10-million contract to Innovalite Electrical Enterprise, which is expected to supply new industrial fans for greater air flow and ventilation in station areas such as the platforms and concourses. The fans will be installed within 90 calendar days from issuance of the Notice to Proceed (NTP).

    It said the contract for new traction motors that would replace depleted rotational spares was awarded to Ad Lib-YongJi Joint Venture for P79.86 million. The traction motors should have the same performance specifications as the current ones and should be delivered within 300 calendar days from issuance of the NTP.

    The MRT-3 will also acquire a new multi-purpose road-rail vehicle that will be used for the maintenance of the overhead catenary system, which was awarded to the joint venture of Kempal Construction and Supply Corporation and Maquinaria del Eo. The joint venture was the winning bidder for the P46.39-million contract and will deliver the maintenance equipment within 330 calendar days from issuance of the NTP.

    DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in a text message clarified that the transportation agency is not in a hurry to finish MRT-3 improvements because the Aquino administration is about to end its term.

    “DOTC have always been proactive from the very start and not just lately because the term is ending. Some fruits we harvest now were sowed years ago,” Abaya said.

    He explained that the bigger projects take longer to be realized, such as the procurement of the LRVs which have only started to arrive at the start of this year.

    The secretary said that procurement requires a long and painstaking process and that a unexpected turnout, like failed biddings, also add to the long waiting time.

    “What is important is the government is acting now to invest in the rehabilitation and maintenance of the MRT,” he said.

    “Solutions and long overdue relief for passengers are being provided and should just be around the corner,” the secretary said.

    Meanwhile, the second of 48 new LRVs has been assembled and is undergoing various static and dynamic testing to ensure the reliability of parts, which include the German-made traction system and gearbox from Voith and braking system from Knorr-Bremse.

    Batteries that provide uninterrupted power supply to the signaling system, among other electrical components, will be supplied by Lead Core Technology System, Inc. Under the P14.02-million contract, 180 units for each station and the depot will be delivered by March 2016.

    The refurbishment of 12 Schindler-brand escalators is expected to be completed within the month, with most units already open for public use. This can provide some relief to commuters, especially senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and pregnant women.

    Last month, the DOTC awarded a three-year contract to Korean firm Busan Transportation Corporation. Under the P3.81 billion maintenance contract, the private contractor will fulfill general maintenance requirements.

    And just last week, the DOTC awarded another contract to Canadian firm Bombardiere  Transportation Signal Ltd. Bombardiere will upgrade the MRT-3’s signaling system.

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